The latest act of evil that has rocked the world surrounding the horrific and violent deaths of three young children and their mother at the hands of their father and estranged husband in Queensland, Australia has prompted me to write this month’s blog on the subject. And no- the subject is not Domestic Violence, mental health problems or abusive partners (or in particular- men). When society tries desparately to understand the why behind the what of any act of evil, it tends to play the blame game and ask the wrong questions. Unlike what society seems to be doing again in this case, I will not be pointing the finger at the Prime Minister, local, state or federal governing bodies. Nor will I lay any blame on the local and federal Police departments. And as much I believe that our judicial system is seriously flawed, that body is also not to blame for the tragedy involving Hannah and her children Lainah, Aaliyah and Trey.
The subject I want to address here is the root of ALL EVIL and that is …SIN.
The evil act of murdering your children, wife and then killing yourself is because of the evil that has been allowed to exist in the world through the entrance of sin right back from the Garden of Eden. In fact, ALL acts of evil are the direct result of sin- that resides in every human being from the moment of their conception to their last breath on earth. Sin pervades every facet of society.From cheating on a tax return, telling a half truth to protect your reputation (it’s still a lie), stealing a cookie from the jar when you’ve been told to wait until after dinner, rebelling against authority, looking lustfully at someone who is not your spouse, consulting mediums in an attempt to talk to the dead, committing rape, armed robbery or setting someone alight to burn them to death is all sin in God’s eyes. All sin, even the so called respectable ones that society and even Christians tolerate like..ungodliness,anxiety,frustration, discontentment, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, no self control, anger, envy, jealousy, worldliness.. the list goes on, are ALL sins in the eyes of God and will not be tolerated by Him nor go unpunished. Make no mistake about it. Unless that man- Rowan Baxter, called out to God for mercy and forgiveness in his dying moments- he is now in hell and will suffer for all eternity, not for what he has done but because he did not make a conscious decision during the 42 years he walked this earth to recognise he was a wretched sinner, desperately in need of a Saviour. While this fact is of very little comfort to the grief stricken family and friends left behind and makes no sense to every person who is not a Christian- who are not spiritually discerning and fails to understand the why behind the what of this heinous crime, Christians need to see the scriptures playing out before our very eyes in this wicked world we live in. We need to be even more desperate ourselves to tell the world how much they need a Saviour. This world’s evils, that are happening every second of every day, should wake us up and remind us of Jesus’ last words to His disciples before His ascension.. “GO.. into… all the world… make disciples of all ALL nations….” (Matthew 28:19)
Our world NEEDS a Saviour. But until the world recognises their inherent need of Him and why..because they are sinners, dead in their sins, they will continue in their sad, sorry and hopeless state and at their death, will be separated from God for ever. It is only God who can tranform a spiritually dead person into one who is alive- spiritually speaking,who no longer is estranged from God due to their sinful state but is now a child of God, adopted into His family because of their act of faith at the relevation of who they are and the state they are in without Him.
The Bible is clear that it is SIN that lures people to commit evil. James 1:14-15 tells us-
“But each one is tempted (by evil) when he/she is drawn away by his/her own evil desires and enticed. Then, when desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full -grown, brings forth death.”
While I am not going to get into a deep theological discussion about where Satan fits in to all of this, the simple explanation is that Satan knows his time is short and from the time Adam and Eve sinned, they handed their dominion of the world into his hands. From that time until the Lord Jesus returns ,he will continue to use sin and its effects to his best advantage and his utimate goal- to keep as many people from turning in true submission and repentance to the Lord. Satan has come to “steal, kill and destroy.”Jesus said..”I have come so that you may have life” (John 10:10). The Bible says that “The Lord is patient with you,not wanting any to perish but that everyone come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
The world should be in shock and grieving over the story that had unfolded in the light of these horrific events. It was pure evil. But the blame does not lie with the police, who failed to keep vigil over a man who was stalking his wife and children. We have no idea of the numbers of cases the police are attempting to keep track of. It is simply an impossible task to know at all times where every person who has a restraining order against them is and what they may or may not be planning to do. Police are doing their best. But even if they all joined forces and increased in numbers and locked up every known perpetrator in the country, it wouldn’t be enough. Sin still exists; evil forces in the form of Satan and his demons are hard at work and more evil doers will surface. It is also futile to try and lay blame any or all parliamentarians or the courts. To do so, is likened to placing a band aide over a mortal wound in a vain and foolish attempt to stop the bleeding.
I am not for a second saying we should turn a blind eye to the evil of DV or any violence for that matter. We should be speaking up against the world’s evils and doing our part to comfort, help and provide to those affected by any sin. But as Christians, we hold the answer to the questions like:
Why does evil exist in this world? What would possess a person to carry out such evil?
I’ve read a number of articles surrounding this event over the past couple of days. Sherele Moody, the founder of Red Heart Campaign was quoted as saying “Australia is really broken.” She went on to say “that if our national helpline for DV victims ringing in cannot cope, we will see many more women and children killed.”
Let’s not continue to lay the blame at individuals who do their best to be a supportive listener to a DV sufferer over the phone who, in and of themselves have no power to stop someone from committing an act of evil or being under constant evil influence as a chronic abuser. No amount of DV charities or helplines can, in and of themselves prevent evil at work.
“But evil people will grow worse and worse,deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:13
“And now they sin more and more” Hosea 13:2a
Let’s not remain in discouragement for long though. I said earlier that Satan’s time is short. God is Almighty and in complete control over all things. He will have the final say over what sin has done to the world. Jesus told his disciples..”In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though the outward man is decaying, the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction is but for a moment and is working for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things not seen; for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
And… “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Jesus’ work at the Cross of Calvary has defeated sin and death. With his last breath he cried “It is finished.” Sin now no longer has the last word. Sin doesn’t need to reign over our mortal bodies. When we realise our sin, that separates us from God, has been paid for by Jesus death and believe that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), “He makes us alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which we once walked according to the course of this world,according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…” (Ephesians 2:1-2)
Sin and its evil effects will not be allowed to go on forever. In God’s timing, He will determine when it is enough and He will intervene and His Son will return to judge the world.God is just and will not allow any evil to go unpunished. Non Christians will be punished for the sins they have committed; Christians have had their sins covered by Jesus’ blood yet whenever they sin, God’s discipline is still at work, in order for His children not to be swayed by sin but rather grow closer to Him and in likeness of His Son.
I would like to end this blog with a prayer…to the families of Hannah and her children.
Your heart must continue to break when you see every act of sin that destroy’s the gift of life, breaks up marriages and families, brings violence, pain and much grief. Your desire is that no one should die in their sins but that all would be made alive in You, enter into Your family as a child of God and fulfil the plan and purposes designed for them before their conception, for Your Glory and for others’ good. Please bring your comfort and peace that surpasses understanding to Hannah and her childrens’ family members who would be in shock, anger and overwhelming grief at this time. Surround them with the right people who will efficiently and lovingly help them as they deal with this tragedy and the years of grieving ahead. Help them not to question themselves as to whether they could have/ should have done more or done things differently or blame themselves or others unnecessarily for this tragedy. If they do not know you as their Lord and Saviour, I pray for their salvation. Lord, you say in Your Word that all things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose and that nothing- not even death, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”